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Evangel University fires up the academic year with igNIGHT, a new tradition

Published on Aug 26, 2013 by Valorie Coleman

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –– A special event will take place on the Evangel University campus tomorrow evening, Aug. 27, beginning at 9:30 p.m. All students, staff and faculty are invited to attend igNIGHT, a celebration to mark the beginning of the new academic year.

The ceremony focuses on undergraduate students, and the public is welcome to attend.

“We wanted to establish igNIGHT as an academic ceremony to bring the whole campus together,” said Christy Rowden, student activities director.

“With the first year of the consolidated Evangel, we want to set the tone for all new, current and transfer students,” Rowden said. “The hope is that this event will help in establishing institutional identity for the students.”

“We want the ceremony to incorporate the elements of tradition, ceremony and shared stories,” said Becky Spain, director of retention and member of the planning committee for the event.

“Though Evangel has several traditions at the beginning of the school year, we have never had a campus-wide ceremony designed specifically to kick off the first day of classes,” Spain said. “We hope that the ceremony will soon become something that students do not want to miss as they begin each new academic year, and that even alumni will attend when they are in the area.”

Spain said the event represents how each student is an important part of the whole, a concept symbolized by the lighting ceremony. Student representatives will carry unlit torches from each residence hall, bringing them to the center of campus.

Dr. Carol Taylor, president-elect and CEO of Evangel, will light each of their torches. Taylor and the student representatives, in a collective effort, will use their torches to ignite a large fire bowl between Riggs Administration Building and the clock tower.

Commuters will be represented, as well as those students transitioning from CBC.

Taylor will speak at the event, casting the vision for the new academic year.

“I hope that the stories told by Dr. Taylor will become part of the fabric of who we are together, and that the vision she casts will be one that each of us can embrace,” Spain said.